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THE EDIBLE WOMAN by Margaret Atwood (Paperback - Jan 1969) Unknown Binding – January 1, 1969

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Product Details

  • Unknown Binding
  • Publisher: McClelland and Stewart Ltd. (1969)
  • ASIN: B002USQ0GI
  • Product Dimensions: 7.1 x 4.4 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (56 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,952,133 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

MARGARET ATWOOD, whose work has been published in over thirty-five countries, is the author of more than forty books of fiction, poetry, and critical essays. In addition to The Handmaid's Tale, her novels include Cat's Eye, shortlisted for the Booker Prize; Alias Grace, which won the Giller Prize in Canada and the Premio Mondello in Italy; The Blind Assassin, winner of the 2000 Booker Prize; and her most recent, Oryx and Crake, shortlisted for the 2003 Booker Prize. She lives in Toronto with writer Graeme Gibson.

Customer Reviews

The story was great and the book was actually fun to read.
Atwood is one of my favorite writers because she creates such complex situations in her stories and her characters are all so dimensional.
Skippy McGee
Cute but it seemed a bit light to me, as if Marian just "felt" these things but didn't really state them to the reader.
Tammy Cook, Renaissance Mind

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

72 of 74 people found the following review helpful By Dianna Setterfield on January 13, 2003
Format: Paperback
I will have to admit that curiosity is the prime reason for reading this book. The back cover blurb doesn't give much by way of details of the actual storyline, just that the main character feels like she is being eaten. I couldn't stop myself from reading this book after reading that! However, the story wasn't exactly what I was expecting, although it was still pretty good.
Set in Canada in the late 1960s, the women's role in life is slowly trying to break free from the 50s television version of the housewife that vacuums in pearls and heels. Marian, a recent college graduate, considers herself a pretty independent woman. Even her relationship with her boyfriend, Peter, doesn't get in the way of her independence. She lives on her own with her roommate and best friend, Ainsley, and she makes her own living as copywriter for a survey service. But when, out of the blue, Peter proposes marriage, strange things start happening. Marian begins to feel consumed with making plans, quitting her job, moving in with Peter, and settling down for her role as housewife. All of a sudden she can't eat certain things and she has strange panic attacks that come from nowhere. Her freedom is being threatened, but Marian sees no way out. Or is there?
While Marian's story is the core of this novel, the host of supporting characters intrigued me the most. Ainsley decides she wants to have a baby and begins her search to find the lucky man to help her out. Marian's friend, Clara, and her husband, Joe, provide a stunning example of what married/family life will be like (and not always in a good way). Then there's Duncan, a man who answers the door when Marian is out doing surveys, who has his own issues.
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30 of 35 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on September 26, 1999
Format: Paperback
This is only the third Margaret Atwood novel I have read--having picked them all up at various flea markets and discount stores on a whim. I am a woman who usually does not identify with female authors, most of whom seem too aware of being "female authors" to tell a straightforward story without feminist propaganda. _The Edible Woman_, however, really hit me on a visceral level. Marian is the same age as I and has a similar perspective. She has a kitchen sink with molding dishes and a refrigerator whose innards seem to be growing. She has a college education and a job that she has no emotional attachement to, in fact she is horrified when forced to sign on to a retirement package, feeling tied to forever to an apathetic existence. She occasionally feels invisible when in a room with others, particularly it seems around her fiancee, at one point sliding between a bed and a wall while her friends quaff gin and play with camera equipment, never noticing she is gone until she is squashed under the bed as one of them sits down. She seems to be wandering through life without a purpose and clings onto the idea of being a wife by becoming almost accidentally engaged to an "ideal" man. Soon after this she finds herself slowly being nauseated by different sorts of food.
If the young ladies in this book didn't dress up so much and drink alcohol and smoke while pregnant it would seem very much a generation X novel! Starring apathetic protagonists Marian and Duncan, who both manage to be vivid characters in spite of the fact that they seem to spend most of their time just floating through life. A large part of the novel's strength is its well rounded secondary characters from Ainsley, Marian's single connivingly procreating room-mate, to Clara a somewhat disgruntled mother, to Duncan's slightly deranged grad-school room-mates.
This was a very fun book filled with characters I can imagine meeting among my own group of friends.
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17 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 10, 1999
Format: Paperback
The best feature of this book is its ability to enthrall. Clearly, Margaret Atwood's style in this novel is still green, as she wrote this book when she was only about 24, but I think that it contributed to my enjoyment of this book. While it is slightly reminiscent of some of her later fiction, it differs significantly in the narrational flow, allowing the reader to be gently assimilated into the message of the book without feeling as if he or she should always be "on the lookout" for pithy hidden messages. Some may claim that this book is superficial and a run-of-the-mill attempt at distinctive women's lib literature, but this is not so. It is simply subtle insight into human nature in all aspects--including the aspects of both women AND men. Also be reminded that Atwood actually wrote the book before the brunt of the women's lib movement, but unfortunately, it was not published until 1970, marking it as correlative to the movement. I highly recommend this book, especially, in fact, for those who are dissatisfied with Atwood's prose style and writing techniques. Perhaps this book will equalize your perception of her. Although I enjoy Atwood across the board, this book is one of the most refreshing and engrossing reads I've encountered.
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27 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Michael Battaglia on December 26, 2001
Format: Paperback
I've got a few Atwood books and this is by far the oldest one, so if it's not her writing debut (as opposed to poetry, which I think she did as well) it's pretty close and I have to say that I was pretty impressed with how strong her narrative voice was and how confident the book feels. Reading it you get a sense that the author knows exactly what she's doing and how to go about it. That sense makes the book that much more fun to read, even if it's not going to be recognized as one of her absolute masterpieces. The story concerns a woman named Marian, presumably in her mid-twenties, who after getting engaged starts to lose her desire to eat most kinds of food. But even that description is a tad misleading because the eating aspect doesn't even come into play until almost halfway through the book. Indeed those looking for a feminist version of "Thinner" should probably go the other way right now. Instead it's an examination of a woman's role in both society and marriage and that gives the story more weight, balancing the often silly and humorous situations Marian finds herself in. It's definitely the lightest book I've read by Atwood, it's hard to believe this is the same woman who did the ultra-depressing Life Before Man. But the main focus isn't even on Marian's quasi-eating disorder but on her interactions with her fiancee, her roommate (the subplot with her wanting a baby is absolutely hilarious in a darkly absurd way) and an odd graduate student she meets while out doing a survey for her job. That graduate student and his monologues was my favorite part of the chapter and probably represents Atwood's poke at the academic world, but definitely shows off her gift for words.Read more ›
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